Feb 13, 2018 (LBO) – SriLankan Airlines CEO, Suren Ratwatte says the national carrier will explore more opportunities in Australia with new direct flights to destinations like Sydney.
Ratwatte said daily nonstop flights between Colombo and Melbourne are witnessing high traffic with customers reporting satisfaction at being able to undertake the flight without long layovers.
Despite Australia being home to a large Sri Lankan Diaspora and student community, passenger arrivals into Sri Lanka have been on the decline in 2017.
New Colombo – Melbourne direct flight has reversed the trend of declining passenger traffic into Sri Lanka. SriLankan said the route has already registered a profit within a period of six months.
“We are delighted to fulfill a long-felt need for a direct flight from Colombo to Melbourne,” Ratwatte said.
“Following the success of this strategic decision, we will explore opportunities, for example, between Colombo and Sydney and other destinations in Australia.”
There has been a tangible upward surge in tourist arrivals from Australia since the month of October 2017, when the direct flight was launched.
Arrivals rose by as much as 26 percent during the launch month and progressively since. A month prior to the launch, tourist arrivals from Australia were recording negative growth.
SriLankan is a member of the prestigious oneworld global airline alliance and it offers convenient connections to its global route network of 94 destinations in 44 countries.
The national carrier also operates one-stop twice-daily services between Sri Lanka and Australia with its codeshare partners Qantas and Malaysia Airlines.